CSW broadband sees improvements on the ground before going out to tender

A project that aims to improve broadband across Warwickshire has made improvements in some areas before a penny of the project budget is even spent.  CSW Broadband has been gathering information from communities about the broadband challenges that they face and where the local infrastructure, such as communications cabinets, are located. As a result of the information received the project has been able to convince BT to upgrade cabinets at Coton Park in Rugby and at Warwick Gates.

Cllr. Alan Cockburn, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities, said: “Thanks to the information provided by our local communities through their Local Broadband Champions and the surveys on our website, our team has been in discussions with BT about areas that have been omitted from their commercial roll-out plans. At both Coton Park and Warwick Gates we were able to show that there were sufficient potential subscribers for superfast broadband services to make a clear business case for BT to invest in these areas.

“Furthermore as a result of our pre-procurement discussions with the broadband providers we have received updated Open Market Review data that shows an extra 44,690 properties now being brought into the commercial roll-out, meaning that the money within the CSW Broadband project will go that much further. This is a real achievement by our superfast broadband team, and the work is continuing.

Anthony Mawby, who lives on Coton Park said: “”My family moved into a new build in 2009, all was great except an average broadband speed of 1.5Mbps, amazingly poor for any suburb let alone a new housing estate. After 2 years of BT moving deadlines for fibre connectivity I had one phone conversation with CSW Broadband.  We’re now one week away from an engineer’s appointment and a quoted speed of 50Mbps. I’m confident that without the work of CSW Broadbandthis would not be the case.”

Russell Johns, who is the Local Broadband Champion for Warwick Gates said: “The partial success we have had on Warwick Gates, with one of the two remaining cabinets now upgraded for BT Infinity, has made a huge differences to those residents who have benefited. Prior to the upgrade, broadband speeds of less than 2mbps meant that is was difficult for small businesses and homeworkers to operate. Now, with fibre optic broadband speeds, downloads and uploads are incredibly fast and there is no buffering on streamed content. This will open the door for more home based working and contented households. I look forward to working with BT to complete the work on Warwick gates.”

As a result of the new data the pre-procurement public consultation period has been extended to 14th January 2013 so that other communities can respond and can let the project know about their particular situation. The project team would particularly like to hear from areas where there has been significant number of new houses built over the past 5 years or so, but which have been omitted from the commercial broadband programme. They also want to hear from areas that appear to be earmarked for broadband development but where there are specific problems such as distance from the cabinet that might make it difficult to get superfast speeds. Full details of coverage and how to respond is on the project website at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/

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